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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First prize money awarded at Pecos Rodeo

The 2007 edition of the West of the Pecos Rodeo doesn’t officially get underway until Wednesday night. But over $30,000 in prize money had already been paid out by late Monday morning, following Sunday’s open and pro-am team roping event and the first go-round of team roping and steer roping on Monday.

Chaise Burleson and Trevor Cruz were the first winners of the day during slack competition, capturing the first go-round of steer roping with a 6.4 second time. The victory earned both cowboys $2,232. Defending West of the Pecos Rodeo and National Finals Rodeo All-Around champion Trevor Brazile and his teammate Patrick Smith are just under one second behind, placing second with a 7.3 second time, good for a $1,941 payout.

Wilson Capron and Shot Branham were in third after the first go-round, with a 7.6 second time, which was good for $1,650. That was a tenth of a second in front of Blaine Linawever and Richard Durham, which earned $1,359 for placing fourth on Monday, with three teams tied for the No. 5 spot with7.8 second times.

Two other ropers already had picked up over $2,500 each for Sunday’s Open Team Roping Competition at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena. Kevin Stewart and Cody Cowden placed first in that event, earned them a combined $5,170. Stewart and Cowden were ranked sixth as of last week in the overall money totals for PECA team roping, while one member of the current No. 4 roping team, Cory Petska, picked up $1,600 by teaming with amateur Loran Long to win the pro-am division of Sunday’s team roping competition.

The world’s oldest rodeo, which began on July 4, 1883 is beginning its 125th year in 2007, and will be held over the final seven days of June this year. Sunday’s events included PRCA cowboys who also were entered Monday morning, for the opening go-round of the team roping and steer roping events.

Steer roping competition results from Monday morning were not available a press time.

Monday’s slack competition concluded about 10:45 a.m. and was scheduled to resume at 7:30 p.m., while Tuesday’s slack will be at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The first regular performance of the 2007 West of the Pecos Rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, and continue through Saturday, also starting at 7:30 p.m.

Dances featuring Fat Daddy on Wednesday and Thursday and Gunslinger on Friday and Saturday will be held following the rodeo at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Barn, while the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee will hold a Saturday night dance featuring Super Odisea at the Reeves County Civic Center, following the final night of the rodeo. Tickets for that performance are currently on sale for $20 each, and will be $25 at the gate on Saturday.

Red, white, blue and pink are the theme for this year’s West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade scheduled for Wednesday, starting at 10 a.m., and the pink theme will be part of a cancer fundraising event on the second night of this year’s rodeo.

The parade will run along Third Street eastbound from State Highway 17 to Cypress Street, and from there north on Cypress to Sixth, then one block east to Oak and from there northbound to First Street. The parade will circle the West of the Pecos Museum and then head south on Cedar to the Rodeo Grounds.

Grand Marshal for the event will be Dick Slack. The 92-year-old Slack had been serving as county attorney for the past year under an emergency appointment. He had previously been a State Representative for 28 years, from 1953 to 1980, and Reeves County Judge for four years, from 1949-52.

Thursday night’s show will be “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night”, with $1 for each person attending the rodeo wearing pink will be donated to a new fund create to help local residents suffering from cancer.

Ramirez, Rodriguez win Pageant titles

Happiness for herself, happiness for everyone and for our troops to come home for Iraq are the three wishes of the new Golden Girl of the Old West.

Katherine Ramirez, who was crowned 2007 Golden Girl on Friday evening, answered a question provided by the judges that went into the final decision that helped her win her title. The questions posed at the end of the show were a new feature of this year’s pageant, which featured five hopefuls seeking the Golden Girl title.

“This year they are doing something different, each girl gets a question out of the bowl and gets to answer it live here tonight,” said KOSA-Ch. 7 anchorman Jay Hendricks, who shared the Master of Ceremonies duties with 2006 Golden Girl Eleanor Mason.

Ramirez’ question was, “If you had three wishes, what would they be?”

Her answer: “My wish would be to be happy; the second wish is for everyone to be happy, because I feel that it is important to be happy with yourself and what you do and my third wish is for our troops to come home and everyone be safe.”

For her talent, Ramirez she did a skit from “I Love Lucy”, dressed up as Lucy Ricardo recalling some of her most memorable misadventures.

Ramirez was sponsored by Pecos Enterprise, Napa Auto Parts and Kwik Stop.

Runner-up for Golden Girl was Dorothy Lara, who did a hip-hop dance mix during her talent presentation.

Lara was sponsored by R.C. Slack and Gerald Tellez.

Claire Venegas received the advertisement award and Maritza Acosta was awarded Miss Congeniality.

The Golden Girl Pageant was held again this year in conjunction with the 2007 Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant, which was won by Clarissa Rodriguez, the daughter of Chris and Marisol Rodriguez. She was sponsored by Terrazas Furniture.

Her favorite show is High School Musical; her favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti and green chicken enchiladas. She enjoys dancing, loves to swim and her favorite color is black.

Runner-Up was Maritza M. Soto, daughter of Tony and Crissy Soto and her sponsor was Judge Sam Contreras.

This year’s theme was “Carnivale,” and the Golden Girl nominees enjoyed putting on a performance complete with masks and colorful costumes.

Other entertainment provided throughout the evening included: Carly Mondragon (singing); dancers, Dominique Luna and Annnika Melendez; Meagan Hammond (dancing); Amerbelin Herrera (singing); Gerra Adkins-Jazmine (singing); Susan Moore (dancing) and Kiara Gutierrez (singing).

The Golden Girl and Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant annually kicks off the start of Rodeo Week in Pecos. The five Golden Girl entires will participate with their own floats on Wednesday during the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade, along with Rodriguez and the other 17 young girls who were part of this year’s Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant.

Commissioners OK shift for holiday fireworks site

A designated area to set off fireworks during Rodeo Week, and as part of the Fourth of July activities was designated by Reeves County Commissioners, during their meeting Monday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse.

The discussion involved determining a public area to shoot off fireworks. Fireworks were shot off last year in the south parking area at the Reeves County Civic Center, but at their last meeting, commissioners were told by West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee members that it would be better if individuals set off their fireworks at another area away from the adjacent West of the Pecos Rodeo Arena.

State law allows the sale of fireworks to begin 10 days prior to the Fourth of July. Fireworks booths began opening for business in Pecos on Sunday, but committee members said that was due to the heavy traffic during Rodeo Week, which also began on Sunday, setting off explosives around the rodeo grounds could affect the many horses that would be there.

They also told commissioners that committee planning a professional fireworks display of their own on Wednesday, July 4 at 10 p.m. at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena and were worried about others shooting off fireworks in the same area.

“The rodeo committee had said at the last meeting that it would be a safety issue,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Saul Herrera, who was filling in for Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras, who was out of town on Monday.

“The county attorney (Alva Alvarez) said that we could not prohibit it,” said Herrera. “However, she looked it up and said that we could designate an area and have those individuals go set off their fireworks there, for safety reasons.”

“Will there be deputies there?” asked Precinct 4 Commissioner Ramiro Guerra.

“If we designate a place, we’ll have to provide a deputy and possibly a fire truck,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Alvarado.

County Auditor Lynn Owens said that in the past people had used Martinez Field for this purpose.

Owens said that Martinez Field would be the most logical place, because they have stands, it’s outside the city limits and there is enough space out there.“I think it’s because it’s outside the city limits, because the city still has some ordinances about that,” said Owens. “There has also been enough rain, it’s not as dry, so maybe it won’t be a fire hazard.”

“Mr. (Ricky, emergency management coordinator) Herrera do you see any problems?” asked Alvarado.

“No, I don’t see a problem, because there has been enough rain and we’re not under drought conditions,” said Herrera.

“I think that you should designate Martinez Field as the area to set off fireworks,” he said.

Herrera said that in the past, they have had a burn ban and it prohibits certain types of fireworks, but that it was not implemented this year.

“In the past the three areas that people go to are, the North Side Park, the rodeo grounds and Martinez Field,” said Herrera.

Alvarado made the motion to designate Martinez Field as the official area to set off fireworks.

The commissioners agreed and designated the area to be used from Monday, June 25 through July 4.

Motels’ full corrals could hurt rodeo’s gate

The West of the Pecos Rodeo is brining cowboys from all across the country to Pecos this week. But brining in fans from across West Texas and elsewhere for an overnight stay is going to be a problem, due to the acute shortage of hotel and motel space in the city.

The booming oil and natural gas drilling operations in the Trans-Pecos area, combined with the lack of adequate available housing and delays in constructing new motels, home or apartments has left the city for over a year with its eight motels at or near capacity each night. And while the drilling boom has caused city hotel and motel tax receipts and sales tax receipts to almost double in the past three years, the failure so far to capitalize on the demand for new motels has left rodeo committee members worried about a negative impact on this year’s show.

“It’s going to hurt us in attendance,” said West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee President Joe Keese. “People who want to go to the rodeo and maybe stay for the dance can’t just come in an get a hotel for the night.”

The problem first cropped up at last year’s West of the Pecos Rodeo, and a check of some of the local motels in recent days shows few available beds this week for the 2007 edition of the Pecos Rodeo.“We already have had a lot of people calling who are mad because we don’t have any bookings,” said Jean Winget, manager of the Best Western Swiss Clock Inn. “We had some people who booked for the rodeo last year, when they were checking out.”

“All we have left now is if we have cancellations. We just tell them to call back daily, but we haven’t gotten many cancellations,” she said. “I’ve had to shut down the remodeling of the rooms. We wouldn’t let them go into any more of the rooms because we’re so full.”

Winget said her motel has been at 100 percent occupancy since last November. Other motels have had a few vacancies, though another impending boost in drilling activity in the area has led to even more long-term bookings.

“For the past week we’ve been full,” said Yvonne Rodriguez at the Quality Inn on Friday. “It’s the same for next week. There’s just not a whole lot.

“We have some openings, probably enough to get by, but this past week and last week we’ve been overbooked,” Rodriguez said.

Jo Ann Tersero at Motel 6 said they would have some rooms available for rodeo week. “What I’m scared of at this point is getting slammed with the oil companies. We’ve got people from Schlumberger here, because they have six more rigs coming into this area.”

Still, Tersero said. “We’ve got plenty of availability right now. The 29th (Friday) seems to be when we have most of our reservations.”

The rodeo has run Wednesday through Saturday in recent years, and the final two nights have generally drawn the most out of town visitors. Along with the rodeo performances, which usually run about 2 1/2 hours, the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee will be sponsoring a dance on Saturday night featuring Super Odisea at the Reeves County Civic Center, starting around 10 p.m., while the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse will have Gunslinger performing after the rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights at the Posse Barn, and Fat Daddy after the rodeo on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

With the increase in occupancy rates at Pecos motels, two new facilities, including a Hampton Inn, are currently in the planning stages. The hotels would be located at the Highway 17 (Exit 39) interchange on Interstate 20, but the lack of available infrastructure at the site has delayed the start-up for nearly six months. Town of Pecos City officials are currently seeking a state grant to fund installation of water and sewer lines at the site, while the Pecos Economic Development Corp. has agreed to loan the city funds for installation of underground power lines, which are required due to the site’s location near the end of the main runway for Pecos Municipal Airport.

Winget said even before the start of the rodeo, the lack of available bed space in town has been acute for over a year.

“We kept records one night on all our walk-ins, and we turned away 64 people,” she said. “The next night we did walk-ins and those who called, and we turned away 78, so we definitely need two more motels here.”

Duke leaves Austin post for new P-B-T job

A change in positions has Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD officials looking for a new principal for a Pecos elementary school, while two new positions were created as part of the changes other positions in the district were been filled by school board members, during a special meeting last Thursday.

Cindy Duke, principal of Austin Elementary School for the past few years, resigned that position to take on a new role as supervisor for the P-B-T “Lead Teachers, District Wide,” a new position that was created recently.

“These teachers are going to assist with curriculum, implementing programs, delivery, modifying lessons and generally helping with instruction at all the schools,” said P-B-T ISD personnel director Rey Villarreal.

Debbie Garcia will be the other, “Lead Teacher ”employed by the new program Garcia has been an elementary school teacher and coach at Austin Elementary School, as well as head varsity basketball coach at Pecos High School.

Villarreal said that they have posted the position of principal at the elementary school, but that there may be some movement within the district.

“It’s been posted, but there may be some changes or movement within the district to take care of that position,” said Villarreal.

Resignations included: Gaylon Doan, AEP Teacher, Lamar; Fred Howard, Social Studies/Coach, high school; Robert Ortega, Physical Education/Coach, Bessie Haynes and Margaret Timmerman, Computer Lab Teacher, Bessie Haynes.

New hires were:

Priscilla Carter, first grade, Austin; Elizabeth Davidson, Special Education, Crockett; Gaylon Doan, AEP Teacher/Coach, Lamar; Jeff Green, Social Studies/Coach, high school; Tracey Green, first grade, Austin and Paul Slocumb, English/Coach, Crockett.

Doan’s change involved his appointment as Pecos High School boys golf coach. His wife, Tina, is the longtime varsity girls golf coach for the high school.

“Some of these are dual contracts and they have to resign so that we can re-do their contracts,” said Villarreal.

A number of other positions still need to be filled within in the district before the start of classes in August. They are: part-time sign language interpreter, paraprofessional pay scale, district; food service warehouse/delivery, district; media clerk/speech aide, special ed office; classroom aide, Lamar DAEP; account specialist, business office; campus secretary, Zavala; custodian, Austin Elementary School; food service baker, Pecos Kindergarten; food service manager, Austin Elementary; special ed instructional aide, Bessie Haynes Elementary; high school assistant principal, Pecos High School; certified secondary math classroom teacher, Pecos High School; certified high school science teacher, Pecos High School; secondary certified science composite teacher, Pecos High School; secondary history teacher/coach, Lamar; certified secondary math classroom teacher, Crockett Middle School; certified secondary special education teacher/junior high girls coach, Crockett Middle School; elementary music teacher, elementary campuses; certified reading teacher/head girls varsity basketball coach, Austin Elementary/High School and certified kindergarten teacher.

Marquez receives Bachelor’s Degree

Dr. David Watts, President/Dean of University of Texas of the Permian Basin presents Alexa Marquez with her Bachelor’s Degree in Science with a major in Kinesiology and minor in Psychology.

Marquez graduated with a 3.4 GPA and was listed on the Dean’s List, National Dean’s List and President’s List.

She plans to continue her education and pursue a Master’s Degree with UTPB’s online Kinesiology program.

Marquez is the daughter of Alex and Sylvia Marquez of Pecos.

Paternal grandparents are Frances Marquez and the late Alex Marquez Sr.

Maternal grandparents are Irene Sanchez and the late Cruz Sanchez.

She is a 2001 graduate of Pecos High School.

Harris receives Bachelor’s Degree

Dennis Harris received his Bachelor’s Degree of Arts on May 12, at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, where he graduated Cum Laude.

Harris, along with his wife Lacey, are currently residing in Denton, however he will begin his career in teaching in Dallas later this year.

He will be attending T.W.U. to further his education, working towards his Master’s Degree in Liberal Art’s in Music (Classical Guitar).

Proud parents are Alan and Irma Harris, grandparents, Catarino and Aurora Ramirez.

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